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The Weight Nazis Are Here November 27, 2011

Posted by geoff in News.

So maybe you thought that taking children from their families because they were too fat was only something those silly Britishers would do. Well, you’d be wrong:

An 8-year-old Cleveland Heights boy was taken from his family and placed in foster care last month after county case workers said his mother wasn’t doing enough to control his weight.

At more than 200 pounds, the third-grader is considered severely obese and at risk for developing such diseases as diabetes and hypertension.

That’s right, for the crime of possibly developing future diseases, a child was intercepted at school and told that his mother could only visit him for 2 hours a week. So what did the county have to say about this?

It removed the boy because case workers considered this mother’s inability to get her son’s weight down a form of medical neglect, said Mary Louise Madigan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Family Services.

“This child’s problem was so severe that we had to take custody,” Madigan said. The agency worked with the mother for more than a year before asking Juvenile Court for custody of the child, she said.

Smacks of Lt. Calley, doesn’t it? “It became necessary to destroy his life in order to save it.” Here’s Ms. Madigan, who didn’t make the decision, but who certainly supports it:

Yeah, she looks harmless, but don't let her catch you with a candy bar!

Of course, having started gamboling down that slippery slope like penguins sliding down a glacier toward a pack of killer whales, one has to ask: where does this intervention stop? How heavy do kids have to be? What sort of future health conditions merit wrenching a child from her happy home life? I mean, diabetes is nasty but manageable, as is hypertension. Once this precedent is set, will they be coming after kids who are slightly less obese, then significantly less obese, then barely obese, then, eventually, kids who don’t brush their teeth?

And are there other conditions that might qualify? Personally I think it’s child abuse for kids not to make their kids do math – I mean, what sort of future do those kids have? I propose we remove all kids who don’t do enough math (I’ll decided what’s enough, of course) from their parents’ homes, and place them with nerdy foster parents. Mary Louise Madigan says it’s the moral imperative, so let’s get hopping!

But back to our story, which gets even better:

But now lawyers for the mother say they’ve been told that the foster mother who has the child in a neighboring suburb is having trouble keeping up with all of his appointments.

There was even a discussion about getting the foster mother additional help or moving the child again, this time to a foster home with a personal trainer, Amata said.

I’ll let their lawyer give you the punch line:

“I wonder why they didn’t offer the mother that kind of extra help,” Amata said.

Exactly. The mind, she is boggled.


1. geoff - November 27, 2011

This may be old, since the kid was taken on Oct. 19. The article I referenced is from yesterday, though.

2. Retired Geezer - November 27, 2011

I’m speechless.

*geezer weeps for the future generations*

3. Jewel - November 27, 2011

What about the obese parents with skinny kids. Might they want to lock them up?

4. LC Aggie Sith - November 28, 2011

So….what happens if/ when the kid doesn’t lose weight?

5. OBF - November 28, 2011

I think they should take them away if they don’t dress them according to the proper standard!
…and there should be a mandatory toejam exam.
…and we should expect to get a report on daily flossing techniques.

so much to do and so few bureaucrats!

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